Sen. Ebbin’s Anti-Discrimination Measure Fails — “A measure adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Virginia’s laws against discrimination in public employment made it through the state Senate, only to be killed in the House of Delegates.” [InsideNova]
Schools, County Offices Closed Monday — Arlington County government offices, courts, schools, libraries and rec centers will be closed Monday for the George Washington Day holiday in the Commonwealth of Virginia — also known nationally as President’s Day. In addition to the closures, parking meters will not be enforced. [Arlington County]
Ramp Closure Next Week — “A detour will be in place next week as the ramp from northbound George Mason Drive to westbound Carlin Springs Road is closed from Tuesday, Feb. 20 through Friday, Feb. 23 for installation of a sanitary line.” [Twitter]
Springlike Day Today — With temperatures in the upper 60s, today (Feb. 15) is expected to give a brief glimpse of spring, before temperatures turn colder. There is a chance of accumulating snow this weekend. [Capital Weather Gang]
Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak
A local woman is appealing for witnesses to come forward after a driver struck her daughter while she rode her bicycle last week.
In a post on Facebook, reader Cynthia Hoftiezer said her teenage daughter was cycling near the intersection of Lee Highway and N. George Mason Drive between 8:45 and 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 3.
Hoftiezer said a car turning right on a red light from Lee Highway onto N. George Mason Drive then struck her daughter and drove away without stopping. Via Facebook:
Please share: If anyone saw the car turn right on red from Lee Hwy to George Mason Dr. on Thursday morning 8/3 between 8:45 and 9 am, and strike my teenager on a bicycle, please call Arlington County police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222 referencing case no. 2017-08050186. While my daughter is ok, the driver did not stop.
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed the details of the crash, and said that the victim “reported that the striking vehicle initially slowed following the crash but did not stop and continued south on George Mason Drive.”
Savage said the suspect vehicle is a white, four-door sedan.
Image via Google Maps.
A local YouTube personality waited at a red light near Virginia Hospital Center for 20 minutes earlier this week, and posted his experience to his channel.
Angelo, who describes himself as the creative director of the FlyingOverTr0ut channel, says he makes “sketches, commercial parodies, music videos, short films, drama, 9 hour videos of me sleeping, unauthorized T-Mobile commercials, and videos about my easily confused Greek mom.”
But a video posted July 18 shows him having a more troubling experience. It shows Angelo waiting at a red light at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. George Mason Drive in Waycroft-Woodlawn for more than 20 minutes.
A timer in the bottom-right corner shows he waited 20 minutes and 30 seconds for the light to change at approximately 2:30 a.m.
The full video is below, although be warned there is strong language and it may not be suitable for viewing at work.
— Mike Lewan (@mlewan3) July 21, 2017
And for those with slightly less time to spare, Angelo posted an edited version of what he describes as his “expose of this intersection,” edited by fellow YouTube user gr18vidz14kidz.
A spokesman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services said they responded to his inquiry on Twitter, and that crews “improved the signal timing this week and will continue to monitor the timing at the intersection.”
Photo via Google Maps.
A section of Columbia Pike closed in both directions for downed utility lines lying in the roadway.
The Pike closed to all traffic between S. Randolph Street and S. George Mason Drive, with police diverting cars onto side streets. A reader said the lines came down around 2:30 p.m. Thursday (July 15) at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.
Crews from both Verizon and Comcast were on scene to fix the downed lines. According to scanner traffic, some lanes began to reopen just after 4:15 p.m.
Drivers in the area should expect continued delays as lanes reopen.
(Updated 6/17/17) A Barrett Elementary School student was struck and injured by a driver in front of the school, just after dismissal Friday.
The crash happened shortly after 3 p.m. along N. George Mason Drive. The student was assisted by crossing guards and parents after being struck by the vehicle, before medics arrived.
The student’s injuries are being described as non-life-threatening, but the student was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital and police investigators briefly photographed the scene.
Part of N. George Mason Drive was blocked during the emergency response.
On Saturday, a police spokeswoman said no charges would be filed as a result of the crash.
“The investigation determined that the juvenile entered the intersection of N. George Mason Drive at N. Henderson Road against the traffic signal and was struck by a vehicle,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The driver of the vehicle remained on scene. The juvenile was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No charges are pending.”
Barrett principal Dan Redding sent the following email to parents about the crash.
I am writing to provide information regarding a student pedestrian accident that occurred at dismissal time today, June 16, 2017. A Barrett student was struck by a vehicle at 4th Street and Henderson Street, and Police and EMS responded immediately. The injuries are not life-threatening, and the student has been transported to the hospital for treatment. Police are investigating the accident.
This is an opportunity to remind families to review safety procedures with their children, and to practice them when they walk, bike or ride the bus to school. As always, we are grateful for our amazing crossing guards and for the Barrett families who stopped to provide assistance.
Map via Google Maps
Two people were taken to the hospital following a two-vehicle crash in the Yorktown neighborhood this afternoon.
The crash was reported around 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of Yorktown Blvd and N. George Mason Drive.
An elderly male driver was disoriented after the crash and had to be assisted out of his vehicle, according to scanner traffic. He and the other driver, an adult female, were transported to the hospital via ambulance. The injuries were not considered to be serious.
One of the vehicles, a Honda sedan, smashed into a utility pole after the initial crash, shattering the mid-section of the pole and downing numerous utility lines across both roads.
George Mason Drive is blocked at the crash scene, as is Yorktown Blvd east of the intersection.
The pole is down and George Mason Drive is blocked, according to scanner traffic. The driver of the car reportedly suffered facial injuries and is being treated by paramedics.
Drivers should expect traffic impacts in the area.
Southbound traffic is being detoured between Patrick Henry Drive and 20th Street, just south of Lee Highway, according to the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services. The closure is due to emergency water main repairs, said an Arlington Alert email.
“Seek alternate routes,” DES said via Twitter.
Separately, Marshall Drive remains closed tonight near the Iwo Jima Memorial due to a sinkhole reported this morning. Repairs to the roadway are still underway, according to scanner traffic.
Crews are working to repair a sinkhole on Marshall Drive next to Iwo Jima Memorial. Road closure in effect. pic.twitter.com/qHwp8rhH2C
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) March 10, 2016
Photo (top) via Google Maps
The intersection of Washington Blvd and N. George Mason Drive was temporarily closed due to a two car accident this afternoon.
Police were on scene helping to direct traffic after shutting down the intersection at approximately 1:30 p.m. It reopened around 2:20 p.m.
There were no major injuries, according to an officer at the scene, and one of the drivers was seen walking around the scene. The other was reportedly taken to the hospital.
Arlington County wants residents to help it design the new Columbia Pike Village Center public square.
The new public square is part of a development that is replacing the current Food Star grocery store at the intersection of S. George Mason Drive and Columbia Pike. A developer is planning to build a five story building with market-rate apartments, retail and a major grocer.
The county-owned public square would go next to the development, where part of the Food Star parking lot is currently located. Arlington residents can take an online survey and answer questions about the type of benches, location of a water feature and how the new square should look overall.
The square is meant to be a “green oasis,” according to the county, and will have several “opportunities to sit, relax and enjoy the new square and garden.” It is also meant to work with the new retail area that is part of the development. The county’s current plans for the square show wide sidewalks that could be used for outdoor seating at restaurants.
“Success of the public square goes hand-in-hand with the success of retail,” the survey says.
The county is currently deciding between a central garden and a central open lawn. Residents are asked to choose which one they would prefer, with the option to choose a combination of both.
Preliminary sketches show seating around a central garden or lawn area, with open green spaces and paths throughout it. Residents who take the survey are asked to choose the type of benches they would like to see in the garden, as well as the kind of open spaces and paths.
The county also asks residents to rank water features, like fountains or small stone waterfalls, and weigh in on where one should be located in the square.
The new square will be somewhat similar to the public squares at Penrose Square and Pentagon Row, where there’s a combination of retail and open spaces, or the public space outside the Arlington Mill Community Center. However, the county said it is hoping that the Village Center public square offers more greenery.
“Penrose Square and Arlington Mill offer outdoor event spaces that are largely paved,” the county said. “Perhaps Village Center square could offer something different… ‘green oasis.'”
(Updated at 5 p.m.) Columbia Pike residents are getting a first look at the development that’s proposed to replace the Food Star grocery store at the the intersection of S. George Mason Drive and Columbia Pike.
Officials will hold an open house to discuss the proposal for a public square that will go next to the planned six-story multi-use building from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, at the county’s Parks and Natural Resources Operations Building (2700 S. Taylor Street).
Under the form based code proposal, submitted by Orr Partners, the new building will have five stories of market-rate apartments, and the first floor will have retail and a grocery store. The “major grocer” filling the space has not been finalized. There will also be a public square at the intersection of S. George Mason and Columbia Pike, but the idea is still in a preliminary planning stage.
Preliminary sketches for the project, dubbed “Columbia Pike Village Center,” show retail on the plaza level and the first level with the grocery store on the plaza level. The apartment complex would have an entrance on the plaza level by the public square and an entrance on the first floor.
The building is planned to have about 250 new market-rate apartments and 607 parking spaces in a three-level below-ground garage, in addition to the more than 80,000 square feet of retail.
Of the 607 parking spots, 366 will be for tenants while 245 will be for customers and visitors. There will also be 28 public parking spots on the streets and 126 bicycle rack spots.
The building plans also call for three residential courtyards, one on the first floor, an open one on the second floor and one that is open from the second floor and up. According to preliminary landscape sketches, the courtyard on the second floor could have a pool.
The proposed building, from developer Orr Partners, would be six stories of mixed-use development — five stories of apartments and ground floor retail. The property would have to redevelop under the Columbia Pike Commercial Form-Based Code, which calls for mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly buildings.
Orr Partners Chairman David Orr said he expects the building to have about 350 market-rate apartments, and for a grocery store and other community-oriented retail — maybe a fast-casual restaurant or two — to occupy the ground floor. He expects to submit a form-based code application in June.
“It’s going to be really great, we’re really excited,” Orr said. His Reston-based company has already built the FDIC headquarters in Ballston and Boeing’s former headquarters in Rosslyn. “We love Arlington, and we love doing business in Arlington.”
In addition to the retail and apartments, the developer plans to include underground parking and to build a public plaza where the large surface lot is now. The plaza, Orr said, would be roughly the same size as the ones at Arlington Mill Community Center and Penrose Square.
“We believe that public plaza has an opportunity to be a wonderful game changer for Columbia Pike because of its visibility and location,” he said. “Certainly the Penrose Square plaza was wonderfully done, but we think we can take it up another notch.”
Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Executive Director Takis Karantonis is familiar with the plans, and he said the area — one of the major intersections on the Pike — is ripe for a project like this.
“This is a truly important intersection of the Pike and we are very interested in seeing that happen,” he told ARLnow.com this afternoon. “On the other side, we love the Food Star, it has been a staple on the Pike for a very long time. It serves three or four neighborhoods, and it will be a tough transition through the construction phase not to have a grocery store there.”
Karantonis said he would like to see the Food Star come back in the ground floor of the new building, or something similar: an affordable grocery store with a focus on ethnic foods.
The proposal is in its nascent stages, according to Urban Planner Matt Mattauszek with the county’s department of Community Planning, Housing and Development. So far, it is just a draft concept and Orr Partners is beginning to have meetings with the Form-Based Code Advisory Working Group. No official plans or proposals have been submitted to the county.
So far, the only clue as to what the development will look like is a rendering of the building’s general shape and size, submitted to CPHD, that shows a building with frontages along both George Mason Drive and the Pike. Orr said his company has retained KGD Architecture, which designed the Arlington Mill residences on Columbia Pike.
Photo, top, via Google Maps. Image, bottom, courtesy CPHD
(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) A car ran into and knocked over a light pole on S. George Mason Drive this afternoon.
The crash involved a single vehicle — a Ford Mustang convertible — and happened around 2:00 p.m. in front of the Army National Guard Readiness Center, near Route 50.
We’re told that the driver suffered minor injuries as a result of the wreck. She was transported via ambulance to a local hospital.
The northbound lanes of George Mason Drive are temporarily closed between 4th Street S. and Route 50. Southbound lanes of George Mason are still open.
Dominion Power crews are on scene, preparing to assist with the clean-up.
A driver suffering from an apparent medical emergency drove his car off the road and into a tree this afternoon in Douglas Park.
The driver was attended to by medical personnel and ultimately taken to the hospital. According to police sources, the driver lost control of his car driving northbound on S. George Mason Drive, mere feet from the intersection with Four Mile Run Drive, just before 3:00 p.m.
The road was closed briefly as fire and police personnel responded to the crash, but it has since reopened.
Airbags deployed and the windshield shattered. The car, a Dodge Avenger, is likely totaled, suffering severe front end damage. There’s no word on the severity of the driver’s injuries.
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) George Mason Drive is shut down between N. Henderson Road and Park Drive due to a single-vehicle wreck that knocked over a utility pole.
The crash happened around 1:00 p.m. A driver in a sedan lost control of her car while heading down George Mason, near Barrett Elementary School. The car flipped on its roof and knocked over a utility pole and active power lines.
An Arlington County Fire Department rescue squad helped to pull the woman out of the overturned vehicle while keeping clear of the power lines. She was transported to a local hospital but her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Initial reports suggest that alcohol might have been a factor in the crash.
The road is expected to remain closed while utility crews work to repair the pole and the lines.